Hawaii’s Retirement System — A Danger Demanding Sunshine

·By George Berish

As a Matter of Fact: First in a series by actuary George Berish about Hawaii taxpayers’ obligation for government workers’ pensions.

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George Berish

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About the author: George Berish is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, served on the SOA's examination subcommittee for Modern Portfolio Theory, and served as actuary to many of Hawaii's largest retirement plans, and for several U.S. model Social Security Systems, and Government Retirement System of West Pacific nations (formerly Trust Territories).

Before he retired in 2002, he was manager of Buck Consultants' Honolulu office. He has closely studied the HERS since he was commissioned by the State in the 80's to audit the work of HERS board's actuary. In 2002, he was engaged as the State's expert witness to defend Hawaii's taxpayers against a HERS/union member suit alleging "skimming" and "actuarial unsoundness" -- subsequently dismissed.

After graduating from Norwich University in Vermont as a Physics major, he served in the military for almost five years, with a first Vietnam tour as an Army lieutenant, and a second as a Captain before leaving with a Bronze Star for each tour.

Hawaii's been home to George and his wife, Ann, since 1981.